Sunday, June 28, 2009

Badgers on the Move: Dany Heatley

Through a series of misfortunes (blackouts at home, etc.) Wednesday's entry on Chris Chelios only just got out. Through some blogger-related quirk with posts finished from saved drafts, you'll have to either scroll down or click here to read up on it. The long and short of it is: Cheli isn't done, but we have no idea where he'll be playing- other than that it won't be Detroit.

Dany Heatley, the other "Badger on the Move", is a more interesting story. He's made it public knowledge that he wants to be traded (always an interesting tactic...), and Sens GM Bryan Murray has been hard at work trying to orchestrate a deal that would send Heatley elsewhere and net the Senators a scoring forward and/or a puck a moving defenseman in return. Lord knows that they don't need to worry about acquiring a goaltender, they're set.

Add in to Murray's return player demands to the fact that Heatley is due for a $4 million bonus on July 1st and his $7.5 million cap hit, and you've got a tough trade to make. Essentially, the ideal suitor has either a stud scoring winger, a skilled, puck moving defenseman or some lesser combination of both, plus the ability to dish out a lot of money.

One of the more interesting rumors out there for us UW folk is the Badger-for-a-Badger trade rumor: Heatley to Edmonton for Tom Gilbert and other(s). Tom Gilbert certainly offers the Senator's biggest need, since they've been hurting for quality puck movers since Chara, Redden and Meszaros all left town. As much as I like Filip Kuba, he really shouldn't be your only defenseman capable of making a decent breakout pass. (Another curious rumor addressed in that Vancouver Sun article is the Kings, who could offer up ex-Wolverine Jack Johnson along with Dustin Brown or Alex Frolov)

Another, more local (to us) option would be the Minnesota Wild. However, I highly doubt that the Wild are terribly interested in giving up either of the two assets that Murray would covet the most: Brent Burns and Mikko Koivu are vital parts of the Wild's rebuilding efforts. If the Wild were able to get Gaborik under contract (ha!), they'd have something worth talking about it, but that just isn't going to fly. See also: Vancouver and the Sedin brothers.

Once again, we'd all love to see Chicago be in the mix for BadgerHawk reasons. Brian Campbell seems like a great fit for Ottawa (he can skate! he can move the puck! he's sort of terrible at defense!), and the cap numbers would pretty much be a wash. But the Hawks are really looking to unload a goalie more than anything else (like we said, Ottawa's covered, thank you), and dropping defensemen for nothing in return can't be too high on their priority list.

If you're willing to believe the rumors and the "what ifs" (there are as many of those as there are theories about the Kennedy Assassination), Heatley could end up in New York, St. Louis, and probably the North Pole. It's essentially Eklund's wet dream out there: tons of rumors, and probably none of them with any validity. And, of course, there's also the distinct possibility that Ottawa could decide that once the $4 million bonus kicks in that they might as well bite the bullet and do nothing. Each day that passes with no news will make this look more realistic than anything else.

Edit: With a huge assist by 60min, evidently, only one of the offers out there for Heatley is "even close" to what Murray wants. For those of you praying for a continued Elliott-Gilbert bromance, I'm sad to tell you that Edmonton is not behind that offer.